We’d usually tell you to think outside of the box when it comes to upcycling old furniture and materials. But at PalletFest, the aim is to think about what you can do with the box. You can make virtually anything out of an old pallet, from a wine rack to a table, which is where the idea for PalletFest was born. Recently in Denver, America, PalletFest took place – packed with activities for all the family, including an art show, a fashion show, live music, a home and garden show and exhibit, a pallet building area, a parkour area and even a pallet maze. There were also local food and drink vendors, too, adding extra support to local businesses. The whole point of the festival – billed as the first ever upcycle festival in America – was to show people just how many ways there are to recycle everyday items that would ordinarily be chucked away, like pallets, into useful or beautiful products that serve as both decorative pieces and functional furnishings.
The festival wasn’t just about upcycling pallets into furniture or garden goods, however. Artists at the event used pallets as their canvas, different teams used pallets to create the biggest and best sculptures that they could and a maze and obstacle course were created and built using old pallets and offcuts – enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.
The founder of Upcycle Events and PalletFest, Kenny Fischer, decided to leave the city. The daily grind was really getting to him and his family, and they wanted a quieter, more rewarding lifestyle – so he gave up his well-paid sales job, despite earning a lot of money, as it wasn’t improving the quality of his family’s life and was in fact driving them further apart. After working on his land for a little while, he started putting pallets together to make every conceivable thing that he could think of, starting with crude chicken coops and quickly progressing to bedframes and elegant and functional furniture. Once he saw the hundreds of ways that pallets could be put to good use, he turned to members of the community in order to push forward a whole new world of upcycling in the form of PalletFest. A community effort can effect more change than an individual – and although an individual can do a lot of good – when that individual creates an event that a large number of people attend, or inspires other people to learn more about upcycling and how beneficial it can be, it can really make a huge difference.
Although PalletFest is currently the only festival of its type, here’s hoping that it kickstarts a new trend – after all, what could be better than an arts, music and home festival?